The Campos do Jordão Railroad was conceived by public health physicians Emilio Marcondes Ribas and Victor Godinho.
On November 28, 1910 the São Paulo State Government authorized the construction of the Campos do Jordão Railroad, with a sixty-year service concession. Construction started in 1912 and, in record time for those days, was opened on November 15, 1914. That same year, the EFCJ concession holder went through financial problems, mainly due to the breaking out of World War I, which hindered the access to credit lines for loans and funding. For this reason, the railroad shareholders authorized that the railroad be taken over by the São Paulo State Government, which went effective in 1916.
Gasoline-powered railcar, original fleet.
Dr. Victor Godinho
Dr. Emilio Ribas
The first trains to run on the railroad were powered by steam. They were replaced by gasoline-powered ones in 1916 and finally by electric ones in 1924.
The railroad was conceived as an access to the sanatoriums established in Campos do Jordão, built to help the recovery of lung disease patients.
From the mid 1920s, following the growth of Campos do Jordão, the railroad became the main access to the area, meeting the needs of residents and visitors, transporting not only passengers, but also general cargo and vehicles, given the poor condition of the roads that linked Pindamonhangaba to the top of the mountain range.
Another key role EFCJ played in the region's communication was through the telephone service operation. Implemented in 1917, it was initially aimed at traffic control, but soon started meeting the needs of residents of the cities reached by the railroad. In 1959, the automatic service was adopted, serving the following cities: Campos do Jordão, São Bento do Sapucaí, Santo Antônio do Pinhal and the district of Monteiro Lobato.
EFCJ operated the telephone service in the region until November 1971, when the São Paulo State Government took it over through the São Paulo State Telecommunications Company.
Due to its excellent climate, Campos do Jordão started in the 1940s to become well known as a recreation and tourism spot thanks to the arrival of big hotels based on the European customer service style. Intellectuals and artists also adopted Campos do Jordão as their place of choice for long vacations, as did painter Lasar Segall, who found inspiration for his art work in the beautiful landscape of and views from the local mountains. See here some of the works produced by the painter in his stays in Campos do Jordão.
A portrait of this transitional period of the city is the beautiful novel "Floradas na Serra" (Blossoms in the Mountain) by Dináh Silveira de Queiróz, turned in 1954 into one of the most important movies made by the Brazilian Motion Picture Company Vera Cruz.
This movie shows a quiet Campos do Jordão cut by the rails of EFCJ, where some beautiful scenes were shot.
Floradas na Serra
Cia. Cinematográfica Vera Cruz
1954 – B&W - 100 min
Produced and directed by: Luciano Salce
Screenplay by : Fabio Carpi
Casting: Cacilda Becker, Jardel Filho,
Miro Cerni, Ilka Soares, Silvia Fernanda, Gilda Nery
In the 1970s, Campos do Jordão changed from a medical travel destination to one of the most important tourist spots in the country. EFCJ followed these changes by segmenting its activities through the implementation, in 1970, of the cable car, the first to come into operation in the country, and the tourist parks - the Reino das Águas Claras Park and the Capivari Park.
Until that time, due to the poor highway system in the region, the railroad also transported cargo (construction materials, food supplies, etc.), passenger cars and buses. This transportation was phased out in 1977 when the new highway to Campos do Jordão was opened.
Currently, besides the tourism trains, the railroad operates a commuter train between Pindamonhangaba and Piracuama, which provides transportation to dwellers of areas where highway access is still deficient.